Chapter One

Imagine your parents dumped you in the middle of the desert in order to teach you a lesson; no food, no water, no phone and, of course, no Facebook. You looked around and cried for help, but no one showed up. You started to get really hungry and thirsty. Just when you were about to faint, you saw some lizards idling around. You’d never eaten lizards before, but you were starving…. What would you do?
I won’t waste time on the reasons my parents sent me away to another country for my Tertiary education so as not to make this story about me or anyone else. This is not a story of people’s experiences in the struggle for survival, but a story of the struggle itself; how prolonged suffering can strip a society of virtue and turn humans to beasts. It’s like Julia said in the movie entitled Original Sin, portrayed by the renowned actress, Angelina Jolie: “Julia said, ‘this is not a love story, but it is a story about love. About those who give in into it and the price they pay and those who run away from it, because they do not believe they’re worthy of it. She ran away. He gave in….’”
The greatest struggle for survival is not the hard labour (with incommensurate wage) we undertake for our daily bread; to put food on our tables, roof over our heads, cloth on our naked bodies or the rituals we perform to see the dawn of a new day instead it is the fight to remain sane and virtuous as we stand at the crossroad of bestiality and humanity being daily tortured by the cruel fingers of poverty and sustained under-development.
Life here is a daily test of resolve; I will not steal to eat; I will not let this anger consume me; I will not yell in the street; I will not repay evil with evil; I will not stop looking for a job until I find one even if I die trying; I will not be afraid; I will not marry for the money; I will not give in to hard drugs and alcohol to forget my misery. I will not do this, I will not do that, I will do this, I will do that…. Why should one have to memorize codes to live by each day in a country where things could’ve been much simpler and easier? Why should people be carried to the unlocked door of sanity and left there without restraints? It used to be, ‘Get a good education and welcome to paradise,’ but now, hmmmm, you would be fortunate to get a ‘p’ of the paradise, which in the end means nothing….

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